What Is The Canva Editor

In this Canva tutorial, you will get to learn all about the Canva editor that helps you start creating stunning visuals even if you are not a graphic designer.

what is the canva editor

The Canva Editor Defined

The Canva editor is a user-friendly, web-based graphical design tool that empowers users to create stunning visual content with ease.

Designed with simplicity in mind, it caters to both novices and experienced designers. The Canva editor stands out for its intuitive layout, making navigation and design creation accessible for all skill levels.

You may have tried several tools out there such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Figma, and more that help you create professional looking designs.

However the learning curve is much steeper than using Canva.

Canva is now a widely-used design tool built for both beginners and professionals, offering an easy-to-use interface with drag-and-drop features.

What Is the Canva Editor

Once you’ve selected a design template or started a new design in the Canva dashboard, a new tab will appear with a different set of options and layout.

canva editor overview
Overview of the Canva editor

This is the Canva editor where you are given canvas, the tools, graphics, photos, videos and elements to pick and start creating.

Wondering how the Canva editor compares to Microsoft PowerPoint? See our deep-dive Canva Vs PowerPoint.

Here are the sections in the Canva editor that simplify your design process:


The central area of the workspace is the canvas. This is where your design comes to life. You can add, edit, and move the best Canva elements like text, images, shapes, and more within this space.

canvas workspace on canva
Canvas in Canva editor

Object Panel

The Object Panel in Canva is a tool that helps you easily find and use different items like shapes, pictures, and text in your design.

canva object panel
Object Panel in Canva editor

It’s like a menu where you can pick various things to add to your project, making it easier and quicker to create your design.

The Object Panel is a menu on the left side that includes options like:

  • Projects: Where you can find all the designs you’ve worked on.
  • Brand Templates: Available in Canva Pro, this is where you can store your brand’s logos, color schemes, and fonts.
  • Templates Panel: On the left side, you’ll find a panel with various pre-made templates. You can select these as a starting point for your design.
  • Elements Panel: This panel contains graphical elements, shapes, icons, lines, stickers tools to add frames, and more. You can search for specific elements or browse through categories.
  • Uploads Panel: Here, you can upload your images or access previously uploaded images.
  • Text Panel: This panel offers various text boxes and font styles. You can add headings, subheadings, or body text to your design.


Located at the top of the workspace, the Header is a menu bar that contains options for file management like saving, sharing, and downloading your design, undo/redo buttons, and other settings. 

Canva header
Header menu bar in Canva

Meantime if you want to make sure your design changes are saved, click the File > Save option in the Header frequently to ensure you don’t lose your progress. Otherwise, Canva automatically saves your work without you lifting a finger.

Here are the options you have in the Canva header:

  • File Management: You can organize your designs into folders for easy access by going to File > Save To Folder. This feature is especially useful if you’re using Canva for multiple projects or clients.
  • Grids and Guides: These tools help in aligning and spacing your design elements evenly. Guides can be turned on or off, and grids can be used to place elements precisely.
  • Magic Switch (Canva Pro): Want to change your Canva design size? Select the Magic Switch button and pick the size that works well in the drop-down panel.
  • Responsive Design Preview: For certain design types, like websites or presentations, Canva offers a preview mode to see how your design will look on different devices or screens.


Below the Header, there’s a Toolbar that changes depending on what you have selected on the canvas.

It allows you to customize selected elements with options like font style, size, color, alignment, transparency, and layering. Some options might vary based on the type of design you’re working on.

canva toolbar
Toolbar menu in Canva

Here are the general options you will see and get to use if you click on any of the items on the Canvas:

  • Animate: Select the Animate button to open up a range of animation effects. You can use this to animate text, elements, images, and videos by choosing the movement styles and motion effects accordingly.
  • Position: Each element you add to your canvas works as a layer. You can rearrange layers by moving elements forward or backward.
  • Transparency: Adjust the opacity of your item from values 0 to 100.
  • Color Palette and Textures: Canva provides a wide range of colors and textures to apply to your design elements. You can also use the color picker for custom colors.

If you select any text or add a text box to your canvas, you will see the following items appear in your toolbar:

  • Fonts: Select this to set the font of your text.
  • Font Styles: Change the value of the font size, and text color, bold your text, or italicize and underline it. You can also convert all letters to uppercase with one click.
  • Align Text: Adjust text alignment, bullet points, line spacing, and letter spacing.
  • Text Effects: Click or select your text once in your Canva design. You will see the toolbar changing to include the button that says Effects.

Floating Toolbar

In Canva, the “floating toolbar” refers to a context-sensitive set of tools that appears when you select an element within your design.

This feature is a significant aspect of Canva editor and its interface, designed to enhance the user experience by providing easy access to relevant tools and options.

When you select an object in your design – be it text, an image, a shape, or any other element – the floating toolbar appears near the selected item.

Its location is typically above or adjacent to the selected element, making it conveniently accessible without obstructing your view of the design.

canva floating toolbar
Floating Toolbar in Canva when you select the text

The contents of the floating toolbar vary depending on the type of element you’ve selected. For example:

  • For Text Elements: When you select a text box, the floating toolbar presents options for text formatting. This includes font type, size, color, alignment, spacing, and more. It allows you to quickly change how your text looks without needing to navigate away from your canvas.
  • For Images and Graphic Elements: Selecting an image or a graphic element brings up the floating toolbar with options like cropping, flipping, layering (send backward/bring forward), transparency adjustment, and filters. These options provide quick ways to manipulate the visual elements in your design.
  • For Shapes and Lines: In the case of shapes and lines, the floating toolbar offers customization options such as color change, border thickness, and line style.

The advantage of the floating toolbar in Canva is its context-sensitivity; it smartly adapts to show only the tools that are relevant to the currently selected object.

This design choice helps keep the workspace uncluttered and focuses the user’s attention on the task at hand, thereby enhancing productivity and ease of use.

In essence, Canva’s floating toolbar is a dynamic and intuitive feature that streamlines the design process, allowing users to make quick adjustments and refinements with minimal effort.

Video Toolbar Extras

The Canva Video Toolbar Extras provide additional functionalities and features specifically designed for editing and enhancing video projects.

canva video toolbar extras
Canva Video Toolbar Extras

This toolbar is part of Canva’s expanding suite of video editing tools, catering to the growing demand for easy-to-use video creation software. Here are some of the key extras and features you can find in Canva’s Video Toolbar:

  1. Edit Video: This primary feature of the toolbar allows users to make comprehensive edits to their video clips. It provides access to a range of editing options to modify and enhance the video content, ensuring that the final output aligns with the user’s creative vision.
  2. Trim: The trimming tool is crucial for fine-tuning the length of video clips. It enables users to cut out unnecessary parts from the beginning, middle, or end of a clip, ensuring that only the most relevant and impactful segments are included in the final video.
  3. Playback: The playback feature in the toolbar allows users to preview their video in real-time. This tool is essential for reviewing edits, ensuring that transitions, timing, and overall flow of the video are smooth and coherent.
  4. Crop: Cropping is a handy tool for focusing on specific areas of a video clip. It allows users to remove unwanted peripheral areas, helping to direct the viewer’s attention to the most important parts of the video.
  5. Flip: This feature lets users mirror their video clips horizontally or vertically. Flipping can be used creatively to achieve unique perspectives or to correct the orientation of clips.
  6. Animate: The animation tool adds dynamic motion to elements within the video. to make these elements more engaging and visually appealing.
  7. Volume: This feature controls the audio levels within the video. Users can adjust the volume of their original clips or any added audio tracks, ensuring that the sound is balanced and enhances the overall viewing experience.


The Footer panel in Canva is located at the bottom of the interface and provides you with essential information for your design work.

canva footer
Canva Footer panel

It typically includes options for adding new pages, navigating between pages, and viewing thumbnails of all pages in a project. This panel enhances the user experience by offering easy access to page management functions.

  • Zoom and View Options: Located typically in the bottom right corner or near the menu bar, these options allow you to zoom in and out of your canvas and change the view mode for better design precision.
  • Help and Support: Usually located at the bottom right-side of the Canva Editor, the help option gives you access to Canva’s support resources and FAQs.

By familiarizing yourself with these design elements of the Canva dashboard, you can navigate the platform more efficiently and make the most of its design capabilities.

Remember that the layout may slightly vary depending on the device you’re using (web or mobile app).

Sign Up For Canva

If you haven’t already, go to Canva’s website. You can access Canva through a web browser, the desktop app, or you can download the Canva app if you prefer working on a mobile device.

Click on the Sign Up button in the top right-hand corner with your email, Google account, or Facebook account. Fill in the necessary details if you choose to sign up with your email.

sign up on canva
Sign up for Canva

Activate Your Account

After signing up, Canva will send an activation email to the email address you provided. Open this email and click on the activation link to activate your Canva account.

Canva will ask about your intended use of the platform (personal, professional, educational, or non-profit). Your choice helps Canva customize your experience.

Explore And Set Up Your Profile

Once your account is active, explore the Canva dashboard. You can browse through various Canva templates, designs, and layout options. Canva offers templates for presentations, social media posts, flyers, and more.

Click on your account name or icon in the top corner of the screen. Here, you can set up or edit your profile, change settings, and customize your Canva experience.

Template Selection

At the top of the page, you’ll find a search bar where you can look for specific templates. Below the search bar, there are categories of design types you can choose from, like social media, video, print products, marketing, office, and more.

Create a Design Button

This button is often located at the top right corner. Clicking on it allows you to access the Canva editor to start a new design, either from scratch or by selecting a template.

Final Thoughts: Next Steps in Your Canva Journey

Reflecting on what you’ve learned about the Canva editor, it’s clear that this journey is just beginning. Continuous learning and exploration are key to mastering this versatile tool.

Here in Funnel Graphic, many graphic design resources are available for deepening your understanding of Canva. Leveraging these resources will enhance your skills and inspire you to create increasingly sophisticated designs.

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